This weekend is one of Chicago’s best free events, Open House Chicago. 150 buildings that are normally closed to the public will be open and free for anyone who wants to get a behind-the-scenes look. Chicago is the country’s premier architecture city and this is a great chance to see many of its notable and historic buildings up close. There are no reservations or tickets you just have to show up at the buildings between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm on October 19 or 20. Popular sites like the Tribune Tower will have a long line with waits up to an hour.
With 150 sites spread out over Chicago it takes some planning to really take advantage of this event. Luckily the Chicago Architecture Society has put together a comprehensive website that divides the city by neighborhoods and also provides a map of participating buildings.
While everything on the list in worth seeing there are several standouts:
The Chicago Board of Trade Building for its great Art Deco décor.
Chicago Temple, the world’s tallest church structure, for their views and unique sky chapel.
The Fine Arts Building is like stepping back in time with elevator operators and ornate finishes.
The Tribune Tower is worth seeing as much for its history as for the building itself.
The Charnley-Persky House designed by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Frederick C. Robie House is a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece.
The Brewster Apartments is a truly fun building with tough doorman that normally do not let anyone past.